Investment experts launch 300 Club to combat 'dangerous' market behaviour
EUROPE - A group of 10 investment professionals has joined to form what they term The 300 Club to draw attention to ways in which the investment industry does not act in the long-term interest of its clients.
They say they aim to "raise awareness about the potential impact of current market thinking and behaviours and to call for immediate action", with a mission to "spotlight irrational and dangerous market behaviours and assess their implications".
Three trends they particularly single out are: increased complexity of instruments; focus on products rather than investor needs; and the view brought about by the relatively benign market conditions of the last 50 years that markets always rise in the medium to long term.
Referring to the 300 Spartans who held out against the numerically superior Persians at the Battle of Thermopylae in 480BC, the group is chaired by Saker Nusseibeh, CIO at Hermes.
Members speak on their own account and not on behalf of their companies.
"We must makes sure what is being built by the professional investment community is the optimal answer for the investor or for society," said Nusseibeh.
The first debates of The 300 Club were scheduled to take place at a Hermes client conference today, and members will submit papers for peer review and publication.
The 10 founding members of the group are: Saker Nusseibeh, Hermes; Zuhair Mohammed, Aon Hewitt; William De Vijlder, BNP Paribas Investment Partners; Prof Amin Rajan, CREATE-Research; Lars Dijkstra, Kempen Capital Management; Adriaan Ryder, Queensland Investment Corporation; Robert Talbut, Royal London Asset Management; Alan Brown, Schroders; Dylan Grice, SocGen; and Yves Choueifaty, TOBAM.